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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Sarah Haskayne (Q&A)

Rising Star
Sarah Haskayne
Sarah Haskayne

Sarah Haskayne

Director, Retail Sales
Maple Leaf Foods

How did you get started in the industry?

My intention, post my studies in advertising, was to pursue a career in marketing. I started working for a CPG organization shortly after I graduated in a field sales role and quickly realized that my passion for people made me better suited for sales. I have held progressive positions in traditional CPG sales roles inclusive of sales strategy, category insights and most recently e-commerce, where I was fortunate to be part of the team that advanced the digital commerce presence at Maple Leaf Foods.

Best career advice you've received?

The idea of “being comfortable with the uncomfortable” has been pivotal to the way that I approach new challenges. I have had the opportunity to work across sales and marketing functions in both legacy and newly created roles. Embracing change and leveraging my strengths to navigate effectively through different situations has been critical to my success.

What other qualities do you credit for your success? 

My colleagues and customers would say I demonstrate a strong bias for action and can adapt efficiently when navigating through any challenge. Working collaboratively and understanding how to effectively engage key stakeholders in the decision-making process continues to be integral in my day to day, and an approach I encourage my team integrate into theirs.

What are you currently working on that excites you?  

In my new role, I am fortunate to be working on one of our largest strategic initiatives, which will fundamentally change the way shoppers interact with our categories. Our retail partners are highly engaged, and I look forward to seeing all the hard work of our teams come to life. This initiative also gives me the opportunity to leverage my recently acquired skill-set from my e-commerce role. 

What are some of the big career challenges you’ve faced? 

Being part of our e-commerce launch at the height of the pandemic has been one of the most challenging and exciting moments of my career. From working closely with our customers in bringing their strategies to life, to finding creative ways to expand our digital presence, all while integrating new digital capabilities, was truly an experience that was immeasurable, and one that has allowed me to become a stronger omnichannel leader. As well, as a working mom with two young children, trying to excel at both continues to be a work in progress for me. I am a passionate person, my toughest critic and pride myself on excelling at all that I do. Embracing the idea of progress, not perfection, has allowed me to find better balance. 

What are you passionate about outside of work and family? 

I am a bit of a creative at heart and have a passion for all things design.  I am also an avid music fan and find myself always looking for new artists to add to my playlist.

Click here for the full list of 2023 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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